Aug 30 2017

Mobile strategy is out. End points are in.

by Bret Waters

mobile strategy is out

Four years ago, every client meeting I was in was all about "mobile strategy". Companies were rushing to get a mobile app out and into the app store, and every teenager was building and launching mobile apps in his bedroom, with billionaire aspirations. For many brands, "mobile first” was the mantra for any discussion of a new software platform.

Today, it’s slightly different. Mobile is still a key (crucial, even) use case, but it's just one of the use cases with regard to how consumers expect to be able to touch a software platform. And, with 2.2 million apps available in the Apple App Store and 2.8 million available on Google Play, if your mobile strategy is simply "we'll launch a standalone app and everyone will download it!", you may find that strategy to be lacking a bit.

The fact is, most users today really just think of their mobile phone as being one of many devices they want to use to interact with online services and brands. They expect that all day long they will touch their social media accounts, for example, using their smartphone, their laptop, their tablet, and perhaps even their voice-driven appliance from Amazon or Google.

From an architecture perspective, this means that at Tivix we engineer a platform from the ground-up to have many “end points”. A digital platform today needs to be connected to many different devices and services - from web to mobile to embedded sensors on IoT devices. It’s not that mobile handsets are going away – smartphones are still selling at a pace of about 1.5 billion units/quarter – but most of our clients no longer think of mobile apps as a standalone strategy, they think of mobile as just simply being one of many end-points that a digital platform needs to support.

While it may seem as if the world has switched over to mobile for everything, the fact is that while mobile and tablet use has grown tremendously, web/laptop use has remained steady. So it’s not that consumers are using their mobile devices instead of the others, they are using mobile in addition to the others (see data from KPCB research).

So when launching a new digital product or platform, think of mobile strategy as simply being that mobile is one of devices to be supported, and make sure that your software architecture is designed to support many different end points.

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